Massachusetts rejects suit by foes of gay marriage

BY Advocate.com Editors

October 11 2002 11:00 PM ET

A Massachusetts high court justice has dismissed a lawsuit by anti-gay marriage activists who sought to pressure lawmakers into taking a second look at a proposed constitutional amendment. The activists were upset that legislators killed the proposed amendment earlier this year. Last month the state house and senate voted to adjourn a joint session without taking a vote on the voter-initiated amendment, which would have defined marriage in Massachusetts as a union between one man and one woman. The Massachusetts Citizens for Marriage brought suit against senate president Thomas F. Birmingham, who presided over the joint session, with the hope of reviving the question.

State supreme court justice Francis X. Spina dismissed the lawsuit because the group sued Birmingham as a private citizen rather than in his capacity as president of the senate. Spina said that as a private citizen, Birmingham has no authority over the senate and that as senate president, Birmingham is shielded against lawsuits.

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